Stuart Harrison – Mai Mai

by Jenny Butler
Thursday 20th October 2011

Today is your last chance to leave a comment and go into the draw to win one of two copies of Forty-Six Square Metres of Land Doesn’t Normally Become A House. Leave a comment by 10.00pm tonight – the winners will be drawn at random tonight and announced tomorrow. Good luck!  If you’d like to learn a little bit more about Stuart, be sure to check out our interview with him from last year. – Jenny x

Mai Mai as seen in Forty Six Square Metres of Land Doesn’t Normally Become A House. All photos – Simon Devitt

As with my last book, this one has several great projects from New Zealand, where there really is a great tradition of good architect designed houses. Mai Mai is a house in Auckland, and looks out over the city from the ridge of Ponsonby. The land is on a slope, and so the house from the street is a one modest one storey wall, behind which a two level house opens on the remarkable view.

Front door and garage door are integrated in the moulded wall system recalling leaves – but not content with that the architects at Pattersons have projected onto this wall a series of images from across the street of different local scenes, including kiwi fauna and fauna. Most memorable is an image taken from within the house, which when projected on the façade reveals the view within. It’s an arresting image that takes a minute to work out what is going on!

All photos – Simon Devitt

The house itself comes out of the ground the supports a glazed Lanai, a traditional Polynesian structure here re-invented as urban viewing and living platform. The house creates a sense of being within the city, not just looking at it, a profoundly urban idea.


by Jenny Butler
Thursday 20th October 2011


  • Kate 4 years ago

    I have an obsession with searching for small urban blocks to build a jewel of a home I’m so glad I’m not alone!! I’m even more determined & inspired by this book! If I don’t win I’ll certainly buy a copy!

  • Rachel 4 years ago

    What an interesting book and so relevant for inner city residents. I would dearly love a copy of it.

  • Liss 4 years ago

    That glass facade is amazing. Isn’t it great that people push the boundaries! I’d love a copy of the book.

  • Chelsea 4 years ago

    very cool!

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    Fantastic metal screens on the Queenslander! Great to see the use of exceptional design for small living spaces. Love it – very inspirational

  • Liss 4 years ago

    And I just realised its not a glass facade! Its a meta-facade! Very cool.

  • Jan 4 years ago


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